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As resumption is becoming clearer by the day, all attention is now beamed towards how the immediate future will look like. Before the pandemic, the NDU was already concluding its first semester for the 2019/2020 academic session with 100 level students having few weeks left to write exams (while 200 level students and above were almost done with their exams).
The fact that 8 whole months has been wasted is no longer new. Hence, universities management will want to do all they can to constrict time to ensure the wasted 8months impact on the academic calendar is ameliorated as soon as possible. This is very crucial as 2021/2022 Jamb form would be released in January/February next year (2021).
With the above challenges in mind, the possibility that Professor Samuel Gowon Edoumiekumo, Vice Chancellor, Niger Delta University, is looking at another possible concurrent semester cannot be totally thrown away. If you are new to this concurrent semester story in the Niger Delta University, then let me take you aback a little.
The Niger Delta University defunct concurrent semester policy was one which held that first semester will hold from 8:00am-12:00pm, while second semester holds from 12:00pm-6:00pm everyday. This indicates that both first and second semesters were to be held alongside (concurrently). Click the link below to read more about the concurrent semester policy.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Samuel Edoumiekumo, in the June 2019 management award concert organized by the students body claimed that the concurrent semester was a policy he conceived to balance the NDU academic calendar which was backward then as a result of incessant strikes, riots and community clashes.
“that was my initiative (referring to concurrent semesters). Following the strikes and the natural disasters and all that has happened in the Niger Delta University, how can we gained back these periods? Let us test run a model, dual semester, that first semester and second semester should run concurrently. You were having maybe 14 courses to do in a session, teach all of them, teach all of them. That was what in those days, America was using. So, for a B.Sc. programme, you may spend 2 years or 2 and a half years…..”
Read more about the VC’s award ceremony via the link provided below:
However, the concurrent semester was abolished because of stiff criticism from students, lecturers and other stakeholders. Reports from various sources indicates that members of the management team prevailed on the VC to reconsider the policy, where it was adjusted to two distinct semesters shortened to 8 weeks each.
So you can see that NDU students are already familiar with the concurrent semester issue and if need be, so be it. NDU students have also been exposed to constricted semesters where each semester lasted for only 8 weeks instead of the normal 13 weeks in a semester.
Additionally, NDU students have also been exposed to no in-semestry breaks. NDU students have ended one semester on a Friday and resumed the second semester the next Monday. It is no more a big deal if management decide to constrict time as it is expected after losing 8 whole months.
In view of the above, it is very likely that NDU will be one of the least worst hit as we expect that management ALREADY have policies outlined to ameliorate the plight of the pandemic especially as it have to do with academic time.
Many students have expected that as December have come, school activities may be relapsed until January. Please, do not buy this idea as it may be deceptive. The NDU, under Chris Ikporukpo, the then Vice Chancellor of the Niger Delta University have written exams a day to Christmas, that is December 24th before. Then on boxing day examinations continue. Add this loss of 8 months, there is no need to believe that if ASUU call off the strike today that things may wait till January. Keep abreast and get ready for anything. Nothing will be normal again until NDU probably meet up with time.
With the new federal government offer, it is very possible that ASUU will accept the offer and call of its strike, but as usual, FG may not look into the remaining part again because that is its usual behaviour.
It is also likely that if strike is called off this November, NDU will likely want to complete its examinations before December 25th which is now nearly impossible. If so, then by January ending, first semester exams must have finished and guess what? Don’t even ask for holiday because Sammy may not give you one. You finish exams on Friday, remain in school through the weekend and continue second semester on the next Monday.
Then if things happen this way, that means by March, 2021, the second semester is already on a full course. I strongly believe that with the orientation of the current NDU administration, the calendar will be constricted. This will allow the 2019/2020 session to fade away quickly and allow the 2020/2021 academic session to set in on time.
As students have spent months at home, we want to believe all of us are tired of staying at home and want to come back to the school whether we have the funds to do so or not. Believing we are all ready… so on your marks, get set…… Lets now wait for ASUU’s decision.
Disclaimer: Contents of this material are based on speculation of possible future happenings. No part of it should be taken as actual directive from any quarter. Readers’ discretion and understanding is highly sought after. The NDU management, security operatives and all relevant stakeholders should kindly take note.
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A & U Ng.